Archives for posts with tag: Dr Drew

Cooking for eight this evening.  I’ve not cooked properly for months.  I have cooked like an American..thrown things together but not cooked properly..like I am want to do.

I am going to find a huge shoulder of lamb somewhere and stuff it with rosemary and garlic.  It has been so chilly here that a good gigot and roasted root vegetables makes perfect sense.   Perhaps a summer pudding?  I wish I could find gooseberries for a summer crumble.  I am going to make custard.

Lunch with Joel at SHLA.  I paid.  Why?  Bumped into Drew Pinsky and Tom Arnold.  Lovely to see Drew.  I mentioned the CNN thing, Tom said that Montana Fishburne has no money from her father and Drew concluded that her decision to do porn was probably based on her giving her father the finger.  Montana on the next rehab show?  Perhaps.

After lunch I had a lump on my testicle checked out by a very nice doctor in Beverly Hills.  I must have an ultrasound tomorrow.  I could be castrated by the weekend if things don’t work out.  Hmmm…then I could become a transsexual.  My secret desire for so many years.

This morning was, of course, Wednesday therapy at 7.30.   I shared that the companion had referred to us as we yesterday in relation to my doctor’s appointment..as in, ‘we’ll get through it’ rather than, ‘you’ll get through it’.   I felt a tear welling up in my wizened eye.  When I mentioned that to Jon he said, ” A smidgen of compassion?  Is that all it takes?”

Strangely it was the companion who mentioned just how cynical, bitter and washed up most of the gay men he met were.    He should try hanging out with addicts.

I read a Newsweek article by Howard Fineman that made me so sad.  Sad because I agreed with his miserable assessment of America’s standing in the rest of the world.  I’m not an idiot, I can see the rich tearing down anything they can lay their hands on, plundering this country while the poor cling to their huge cars and wars and patriotism.  Clinging to their tatty bill of rights, their eviscerated constitution.

I was sad because I have never felt more like an American as I do now and wish it wasn’t so that the roads are fucked, that the Christians are in charge, that the gays get infected with HIV because they think it’s like living with diabetes.

I was sad because my miserable and oft mocked USA is a Third World Country prophecy is coming true.  That my pessimistic assessment of the American Economy coming back from the brink is even worst than I expected.   Please say it ain’t true.

Even my rich middle class manufacturing friends are limping from one foreign order to another, limping but believing (as they have always believed) that the unregulated free market and not government will make everything better.

I found a book of photography called Chaos by Josef Koudelka at my house in Malibu that Kristian gave me for my birthday some years ago.  In it he wrote:

“I thought this book was very apt.  Life is never black and white yet always flowing with chaos.  I feel this book goes some small way to prove that even in chaos there is beauty.”

It was lovely to find his note.   A message from Kristian, from the past.  The past, where we must leave him.

I had to make some huge and grown up decisions today.   Decisions and about romance and finance.  The two are unconnected yet have been hideously intertwined as I grappled with one or the other for the past few months.

As my fear of financial ruin overwhelmed me I turned to him to deliver me from the truth.   Today, I just had to face my unfortunate situation head on.

My financial insecurity is undoubtedly connected to uncomfortable feelings of self-worth, prestige and power.  The romance I want but cannot have.   Some things are just not meant to be.  It is challenging to come to terms with these sorts of truths but as I have written here in this blog on many occasions when I do make decisions they are swift and sure.  Something, actually, Drew Pinsky taught me whilst I was on the sex rehab show.

I have deliberately avoided talking about either the romance or the finance on this blog but more importantly I have kept it secret to those who love me best.  Fuck, it is exhausting keeping secrets.  I really hate it.  I have no intention of going into any specific detail about the romance or the finance right now.  All you need to know is that I sat with John after the cake was cut and the presents were opened and told him everything I had been hiding for the past few months.  Phew.

As we all know: the truth will set you free.

I let go of a secret I was determined to keep.  Everything I have ever let go of has been relinquished unwillingly.  With claw marks all over what ever was finally gone.

Deep down I am as sure as I ever was that everything will turn out just the way it was meant to be.   I believe in my fate.

My relationships burn like super novae in the cosmos then shrink and die.  I have an opportunity right now to make a different set of choices: taking contrary action, living in acceptance and handing over what ever gives me pain to my higher power.

Just a few days away from my trip to Europe where I will celebrate a hefty milestone.   I have chosen to travel with a close friend.  Someone I love but not a lover.   We (and The Little Dog) will explore London and Paris.  For the sake of The Little Dog we will once again visit the wallabies in the Jardin des Plantes that my darling, loyal pet found utterly spell binding when we visited Paris last Autumn.   I am sure he must have thought that they were the biggest squirrels he had ever seen.

Am I prepared to walk away with dignity?  From people, places and things?

What I own is not who I am.  Who I love cannot define me.  Of course I would love to be in love with a man who loved me as much as I loved him.

I have come a very long way this past year.  The road to serenity, self-love, sexual sobriety is littered with the corpses of those who could not.

I must have buried 30 people during the last 12 years, killed by addiction.  Overdose, suicide, etc.  Every one my hero for keeping me sober.   Each and every one.

This evening I celebrated my friend’s daughter’s 5th birthday.  I sat with his family and watched his happy little girl blow out the candles on her cake.   After supper I wandered into Soho House on my own and found people I knew to take my mind off of the grueling aloneness.  I am not lonely, I just can’t be bothered to make the effort to accept the invitation nor get in the car and drive to people who genuinely love me.

On my way home, as if by magic, friends called me.  Emails arrived, text messages appeared on the screen of the iPhone and I was wrenched away from the promise of a night of self-pity.  I can be such a pig at that particular trough.

I said to him the other night that what I found so hard to let go of was the promise of enduring love.  The door had been opened then slammed shut.  I am the wise uncle, asexual, decrepit yet ultimately willing to be of service to those who need me.

Without the crutches of objectification, intrigue and seduction I can some times flounder.  I can sometimes fall.  Late at night, when all hope is gone I wonder who will catch me?  Who will catch me when I fall?

For a moment back then, I thought it might be you. I thought, foolishly, that it might be YOU.  I thought it was you when I was 20, 30, 40 and now.   Being in love with Richard in my twenties.  I was heartbroken when he would flirt with girls.  At my birthday party on Island Wall, Whitstable my Mother saw the pain I was in and tried to reach out to me but shame got in the way.

The legacy of shame.

Love has always been my goal.  To be loved.  I crave love the way most men crave sex.

I told him:  I’m really scared that I will never love again.   That I will never be loved.  How could I have got this so wrong?    To believe that love was possible, enduring and could be one day mine?

From out of the chaos comes beauty.  It will give me succour when all else fails.  I am going to Europe to fill my heart and soul with art and architecture.  To walk the streets and parks of two great cities.  To explore what it might have been like to be loved.   I know that when I get back he will be gone.  It is our swan song, our last hurrah.  But before I write the end I must enjoy the journey.  I must not fear the future nor have unrealistic expectations, I must set aside my shame and feel the sun on my face, in my heart.

New York bound.  Virgin America.  Everybody very polite.  The Rasta gentleman that I was originally sat next to smelt of cocaine.  The last time I smelt anything so repulsive was on Mike Elling’s breath at Jake and Rudi’s gayfest in Palm Springs.

Feeling very grumpy.  Wondering what the heck I am doing travelling East.  None of the reasons I thought were spectacular last week are spectacular any more.   Nobody is picking me up from the airport even though I ferry people back and forth from LAX.  They’ll be no more ferrying.   I thought I was seeing my friend on Sunday but he has reneged until Monday.   Oh Bollocks.  As we say in England.  Bloody Bollocks.

The rain that fell over LA last night was truly torrential.  We woke up to mudslides, smashed cars, and trashcans hurtling like torpedoes in two feet of storm water.  It was rather exciting.  I quite like a big storm to take my mind off the internal storm that rages within.  None of the people I am visiting this weekend are entirely appropriate for me to be visiting.  I have huge, overblown expectations and, as I described in my last post, I become closed down and broken the moment I experience any of the heady ‘love’ emotions.

I may very well just go to 12 step meetings with my friend Alexi and fuck the rest.

The most rewarding aspect to this lightening visit to NYC is the price of the plane ticket $98.  Very good value considering a taxi from JFK to Manhattan will be $45.  I may very well spite myself and take the sky train into NYC thereby risking a million questions from random civilians about Kari-Ann et al.  Actually, that’s not fair.  I get asked about Drew.  What’s he like etc.  I think they are rather disappointed to hear that he just a really sweet, empathetic guy.

With the great snowstorm comes the economic shit storm.  The markets are tanking.  Nobody is telling the truth.  Everybody looking to the ‘stock markets’ to see how a few miserable gamblers are reacting to world events.   It’s like hanging around the slot machines in Vegas trying to divine economic policy.    This country has been raped by a few cruelly greedy men who refuse the sanctioning of infra structure investment, who refuse to answer questions about who exactly has benefitted from all the money spent fighting dubious ‘wars’ in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.  Who go on threatening the taxpayer with the threat of further bailouts?  Good God, what has happened to this great country?  Even the government, with a visionary like Obama at the helm, needs a fucking hip replacement to take one step forward.

Apart from their irrational hatred of Obama and their homophobia I have a great deal of sympathy with the Tea Partiers.  Even though they are morbidly inarticulate in most instances they perfectly describe my frustration with government.  Even though they refuse to use these words, they know that their money has been misappropriated.  Stolen.  They want to know where the money went, why it went there and when the American taxpayer is going to get it back.

At the same time those weirdo tea party people are terrified of healthcare for all, which just totally baffles me.

3 more hours on this bumpy plane heading over the great white planes of Middle America.

Alison Schulnik presently showing at Mark Moore Gallery

Whilst cooking lunch yesterday I bent over and herniated one of my disks.  My spine gave out and I am now laying supine in a cloud of white linen and little dog waiting for the pain to subside.  Symptoms include: Shooting electric spasms in my legs.  Laboured breathing.  My balls ache.  It is Impossible to make the most simple move without the most excruciating pain.  So, this is what getting old is all about?   I went into a terrible shame spiral as I was forced to ask Cooper to help me perform the most simple task.

Instantaneously crippled by SHAME and spine failure.

Shame, Resentment and Fear.  The three ugly sisters who regularly cripple this particular Cinderella.

It’s interesting how a deeper understanding of toxic shame has given me a greater insight into all things-especially writing fiction.

Watching my adaptation of Dorian Gray again last night with Cooper  (I was in bed sweating from the flu and squirming in pain from my herniated disk)  I realized how much more evolved it could have been.

My contemporary adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s only novel Dorian Gray is a deeply flawed movie.

If I had had the understanding that I now have..understood Dorian Gray’s shame and Lord Henry Wooten’s subtle manipulation of it.   If I had comprehended why Dorian, in turn, heaps shame upon Basil Hallward.

We collectively determine what is shameful and who we think ought to feel shame .  Shame is subjective.

Sanctimonious people, self-righteous people, religious people, are all very eager to heap shame on whomever takes their fancy.

My mother’s shame began as a young 16-year-old girl when she had me-out of wedlock.  To make matters worse my father was a Persian!  My mother was hustled out of dodge by my vitriolic Grandmother to a Catholic mother and baby home where she was forced everyday, by nuns, to perform menial acts of attrition and atone for her sins.

I was born into shame.  I have perpetuated it at my leisure.  I was oblivious to how shame had shaped my life until I started dealing with my sex issues.

For what should we legitimately feel shame?  Should I feel shame for being gay?  Should Natalie Octomum Suliman (Natalie is her birth name) feel shame for having all those babies?  Judging by what is written on my comments page the answer would be a resounding YES.

There is a disturbing connection, for me, between Natalie Octomum and my mother who, 50 years ago, was shamed for the same thing..for giving birth.  They were both called selfish, irresponsible, their actions cast as shameful and both punished by society.

My mother’s character would not have withstood a barrage of outraged press attention when I was born.  She may have come off as surly or defensive when in fact she was just scared and confused.   After refusing to give me up for adoption (for which she was branded selfish and irresponsible) she had the audacity to ‘sponge’ off of her parents and the state before she got a job.

The mother and baby homes run by nuns have all been closed down.  We would be outraged, in the UK, if we heard that heavily pregnant young girls were scrubbing floors by way of Christian punishment.  My Mother was considered by her shamed parents as both criminal and wrong-just like Natalie Suliman.  However, times change and wounds heal.

The morally acerbic press keep Natalie in a holding pattern of shame.  The babies are born!  By punishing Natalie we merely punish every one of those children, creating a stinking cloud of toxic shame that will linger for the rest of their lives.

This is OUR part in the shame game, we perpetuate shame as and when we feel like it.

My mother’s actions in the early 1960’s are scarcely shame worthy in contemporary Great Britain.   In fact most British people would not think Natalie Octomum should have shame heaped upon her for her actions.  She is perceived as a macabre American sideshow where ‘freedom’ breeds freaks like Natalie and people like me who end up on Dr Drew’s Sex Rehab.

Natalie, in my eyes, is neither criminal, wrong, selfish, irresponsible or cruel.  Unless her children are not being loved or cared for…and one assumes with so many prying eyes on Natalie Suliman an unwashed kitchen surface would be enough for child protection agencies to be summoned..then she should be allowed to get on with her very own brand of American ‘freedom’.

Hey, America, I don’t give a damn that Natalie accepts public handouts.  Sounds like some of you want her to feel shame for accepting welfare.  It stinks when I read that some of you don’t think that she is capable of rearing those children when really none of you have any evidence to the contrary.  None of you know how capable she is of limitless love.  None of you.

As my therapist friend Sean M is want to say:  There’s No Shame in My Game.

Finally an artist who inspires:  Allison Schulnik who is presently showing at the Mark Moore Gallery in Santa Monica‘s Bergamot Station.  I am persuading all of my friends to buy her work.  It is amazing.  A real figurative painter who uses great gobs of paint with such dexterity and precision, so sculpturally and with such poise that I stood before the work salivating, hankering after Frank Auerbach, De Kooning and oddly Corot.   I immediately called Kay and Amanda and insisted that they buy something whilst Allison’s work remains affordable.

Malibu November Garden

I remember sitting in a car with my mother.  Her car.  I am in my mid twenties.  The refrigerator that I just bought refuses to work and I have to return it.  I am so full of fear and shame and resentment that I know the only way I can deal with this very simple situation is to lose my temper-but I hate losing my temper!  I hated that the only way I knew to find the confidence to return a refrigerator was to get mad.  I knew, painfully, that I let myself down.  I said to my mother tearfully, “You know HE did this to me, he made me this way.”  I knew instinctively that the crushing blows of my step-father had shattered my confidence and caused a rage so violent it would define my existence.

It would take twenty years for me to know how to deal with my anger and then quite suddenly-it would be gone.

When I was a little boy I remember smashing every single thing I owned.  It was the only power I had over the world.  I smashed everything I loved.  I hated him so much.  I refused to be subjugated by my stepfather.  I could not fight back with my fists so I evolved a tranch of behaviors to defend myself-empower myself-some of which I have to this day.

Pat Carnes says, “Anger and sex can be fused in such a way that it is self-perpetuating, self-destructive, and once ignited, independent of culture and even family.. “

My rage comes from my desire to be free of bondage.  Every time I lose my temper I have the same feeling of casting off my shackles.  Yet, I cast off a great deal more.  I lose my temper at the talent agents and I walk away from a restricting situation and a career.  I lose my temper on the phone to the bank that refuses to acknowledge an error and nearly wreck the car.  I lose my temper violently with a man I do not want to tell the truth and the police call me to discuss the ‘situation’.

There are always consequences for my rage.

After my rage-I think about sex.   I go online and look at men.  I masturbate.  I want to be close to them.

I have a suspicion that on tonight’s sex rehab you may get to see me lose my temper.  Finally!  I am really not as nice as they made me seem so far.  I lose my temper twice during the taping of the show and tonight I lose my temper with the vapid trainer woman who wears her nasty sweats too tight revealing the outline of her vagina.  I think I may refer to it, angrily, as her ‘camel toe’.

This woman was almost certainly a ‘plant’ by the Producers to get the guys to talk more about sex.  I overheard the cameramen say that he ‘felt sorry’ for Phil and James as this ghastly, inappropriately dressed woman bends over in poor Phil’s face.  However, at that moment I was feeling vulnerable and worthless.  I was alone-my friends had gone with Drew and Jill to do art therapy and I felt ignored.  Within the context of the Rehab I felt ignored.  All of the cameras were on them and THAT alien woman.  My rage got the better of me and ANTHONY came to the rescue.

Who is Anthony?  Anthony, caged deep inside of me, only stirs when I feel embarrassed, vulnerable, besieged or when I need protecting from the conspiring world.

Anthony, my alter ego, was the Lord I pretended to be when I lived in Paris in my late teens/early twenties.  My charismatic, acerbic grunt; Anthony is invincible!  Anthony gets things done.  Anthony is the enforcer. He makes films and paints and etches and believes in God but he is also destructive, violent, rageful, addicted to drugs and believes that there is only room in my life for him and me.

Anthony doesn’t trust anybody.  He will convince me that no one is good enough, rich enough, intelligent enough or beautiful enough.  He will convince me, always convinces me, that I best be on my own-that if I don’t listen to him they’ll hurt me like I have been hurt before.  That I will only ever be able to trust him.

When he leaps forward to defend the helpless child I used to be my accent, posture and face completely change.

Anthony terrifies me.  When I am Anthony I stand beyond myself wringing my hands, imploring him to stop, to stop shouting, to put down the knife, please don’t say that to her..Anthony please.  After he has gone it is like a bomb has been dropped in my life and I am left to pick up the pieces.

As I found out in rehab the solution for my anger turns out to surprisingly simple.

They said that I had to get to know Anthony.   They said, acknowledge his attributes: his tenacity, strength, clarity but, they said- when ever he charges to defend you-coursing powerfully through your body, tell him politely to go way-that you can deal with this.

So I say firmly but politely, “Anthony, I can deal with this situation.  Thanks, I can handle this.”

He didn’t want to hear that at first, he badly wanted to defend me.  Now he listens and backs off.  I can feel him sink back into me. Thankfully he is beginning to trust, trust that I can deal with anything I say I can.  That I am not so vulnerable any more.

I had to learn to accept Anthony’s gifts and ditch the rest.  As for me, I am kind, thoughtful, sensitive, diplomatic but prone to people pleasing. Between us we have a chance at being a grown up man, the ying and the yang without the fury or the subjugation.

I had three great revelations in Sex Rehab and this was the first.  More will be revealed.

It is really hard not to look at pornography. It’s really difficult when you wake up at 4.30am with a troubled mind not to use porn like you might take an Ambian.

Being sober for 13 years, sadly Ambian is out of the question.  I have no option other than to sit with uncomfortable feelings until they go away-or climb Runyon with the dogs.

When I first moved to Paris in my late teens I stayed in a small room on the Rue de l’Universite. I had no idea why I was there other than I had escaped my country, my family, my other life.  I was in shock.  A refugee.  At first the mere prospect of walking the streets terrified me.  I found a bottle of sleeping pills, I would masturbate then take a pill, waking up many hours later only to repeat this sad ritual until all the pills had gone. Like heroin, a rush then a deep sleep. I have a very selective memory (forgetting people especially) but I remember these days as if I had just lived them. I remember the stains on the sheets, the empty bottle and the relief I felt when I left the room and walked back into the city.

I have only recently learned how to live in my own body. To exist in my own skin, within the parameters of the life laid down before me. I have only recently learned to trust the next step forward. You may think that I am confident, dressing up in tiaras and laughing with my friends but my bravado masks, and has always masked, a profound sense of discomfort.

When they sent me to prison, after the initial shock of being sentenced, I loved most every moment of it. The routine, the food, my cellmate, my cell, the language, the echo, the vast and towering Victorian halls. There is something very operatic about a British prison.

I was never scared in prison-my basic needs were always met. I was never attacked or picked on-after all my crime was a JOKE! Being sent to prison for not paying a credit card bill.  I felt like an anthropologist in prison-visiting a foreign land. I felt the same in the Pasadena Recovery Center. I was visiting the land of reality TV, the land of mass media, the land of shattered dreams and unrealistic expectations. It was the second great act of my operatic adventure.

(If only my life were an opera.)

I loved being in Rehab exactly like I loved being in prison. Drew thought that I would leave Sex Rehab within the week-he was sure of it. He had no idea just how much I desired incarceration. How much I love having my options removed. How much I relish my own death. I immediately loved my fellow inmates in Rehab far more than I could love them in the world. The depth of love I felt for them could never be replicated beyond the walls of the rehab. My coconspirators. My brothers and my sisters. Equally the loathing I felt for the producer and production team was rarely masked. It perfectly replicated my prison/hospital experience. My fellow prisoners/patients and the guards/nurses who looked over us.

You see, I was born to be fearless.  I was born to take risks.  To be an artist and a gardener and a butler and a saint.

So, when I wake up in the morning and I don’t masturbate to porn-I choose life. I choose not to throw a warm blanket over my feelings and start the day raw.

Jennie and I walked Runyon yesterday. It was beautiful up there. It is always beautiful up there looking down from Mulholland over the great, gasping city of LA.

I had the oddest memory. New Years Eve twenty years ago in a huge New York club-taking ecstasy, being really fucked up and thirsty and not being able to find water. I am with Camille and Gulshan. The water in the bathroom had been switched off forcing people to buy bottles. There are no bottles left.  Nobody would give us a sip of their water. There were acrobats above us and I thought to myself-this is what hell is. This is what hell is.

Oh yeah-fuck you Tyra for not having me on your show-but actually I don’t care, she’s too tabloid – even for an attention hound like me.

I jerked off today. First time in ages.

Watching the show reminded me of how alive I felt when I didn’t masturbate. I didn’t touch my cock for three weeks. If I masturbate I look at porn. It disturbs me that the majority of the men I look at are identified as ‘straight’. The websites that turn me on are not even straight guys having sex but just talking, naked. Waiting. Anticipation.

At the airport to New York I found myself looking around. Airports/stations/the streets. We are all equal on the streets.

New York was great fun. I stayed in the East Village, as usual, with Dan and Eric. There was no time to take the lil dog so I sadly left him at home with Hillary and Eric.

Delta sucks. Bad seats, miserable flight.

My driver to CNN was from the Dominican Republic. He asked about the sex rehab show. He chatted about how hard it was to be monogamous-but regardless of how hard it was he felt that he honored his partner by not sleeping with other women-even though (he told me) it would be very easy.

“She deserves it. She deserves that I don’t sleep with other girls. It’s hard man. Very hard.”

Joy Behar, seen her on the View. Like her and her political brusqueness.

At CNN I met Drew, we hugged. He looked shell shocked after the death of his father. I was amazed that he continued doing press but there he was soldiering on. We met Joy Behar who was a friend of my host Dan. She was great fun but tried to put a comic twist on the whole sex addiction thang. This comedy approach failed rather as it’s difficult to chat about sex rehab and not want to cry your heart out.

Saw Anderson Cooper. Cute but TINY. We nodded gruffly at each other like men do.

After the show (which can be seen on CNN website) I met with the VH1 publicist who told me that most gay media outlets were not interested in covering the sex addiction issue. It infuriated me. Sitting on the floor taking screen grabs with his phone of his Housewives of …. Client was a slim gay boy/man/guy. I started in on the publicist about how important getting a sexual health care message was. Although, actually, I think that within the gay community this is more of a mental health care issue. I reminded him that incidents of Syphilis were up 500%, that bug chasers were no longer an elite group of fetishists but increasingly young gay men were deliberately infecting themselves with HIV.

At this point the gay publicist guy starts berating me for being ignorant, that I was lying.

Either in denial or just ignorant this man and men like him are killing other gay men. I am so tired of meeting gay boys who are incapable of thinking beyond their pecs. Who cannot or will not join the dots.

Drug companies marketing AIDS suppression drugs advertise to the gay community with pictures of sexy half dressed young men. The message is clear: we can behave like we always did-as can you. HIV is just like diabetes! It’s nothing. You’re going to be FINE. If you get infected..so what! It’s all going to be OK.

High on crystal, back room, multiple partners, self hatred, sexy advertising: it’s a lethal cocktail resulting in only one outcome: HIV positive and a life shackled to expensive prescription drugs.

HIV gay men are slaves to drug companies and will be for the rest of their lives. Living in a delusional Peter Pan existence they get infected with HIV sell their souls to Pfizer and drown their sorrows in alcohol, crystal and so many rancid hot tubs. Staving off the day when old age (40’s) or side effects finally get them.

Really missed the lil dog for the rest of the weekend. Really missed him.

Flew home to LA. Justin picked me up and we drove to Palm Springs to Rudi and Jake’s housewarming. Lovely house full of so many men. The smell of cocaine and vodka on their breath. The zombie like attention they paid to Justin. The gay parade the following day was like some parade stored in a box marked 1976. The rainbow floats blared: I am what I am. It’s raining men. Gimme, gimme, gimme a man after midnight. The same songs, the same costumes the same shrill applause. This community is stuck.

I began to have a physical reaction to it. I began to close down. I began to pretend I wasn’t there. I could feel myself dying.

The ‘a’ gay zombies bumping into Justin-the new meat. Pushing me out of the way to paw at his tattoos.

We slept in the bunk beds. Our hosts blacked out and ended up in the hot tub with 8 others. In the morning named underwear on the kitchen floor where it stayed until we left that evening.

After the parade Justin and I went to the Ace hotel where there was a ‘best but’ contest. It reminded me of a cruder version of Butlin’s holiday camp from the 1960’s. The guys from the previous night were now wearing Speedos and drinking more vodka and snorting more cocaine. They cheered the best butts. They rehashed the experiences from the night before which were indistinguishable from the stories about the night before that and many, many other nights all over the world with so many, many men. They asked me dumb gay zombie questions so that they might get to Justin. I refused to be engaged. I didn’t, couldn’t speak. When they could they asked Justin the same zombie questions that they hoped would allow them to see his chest, squeeze his nipples. Eat new meat. Finally we made our escape.

The large Palm Springs house that Sonny and Cher once owned was deserted. A chill wind swept off of the mountain and over the terracotta tile, the granite work station and the azure pool. The ghosts of too many parties inhabit this house.

We drove home.

That night I lay on my big white bed and counted my blessings.